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If work has to be accomplished IAW military specification, does that automatically make it a non-commercial item? Thanks in advance.

Well, I just read a protest over ammunition skids for the Navy, which were acquired as a commercial item but had to conform to "specified government drawings, Department of Defense (DoD) standards, and industry specifications and standards listed in the SOW... In this regard, the SOW identified the primary drawing (No. 3967AS100, major assembly), along with 11 revised drawings and four DoD standards." See protest of Deval Corporation at http://www.wifcon.com/cgen/402182.pdf

I'm very skeptical that ammunication loading skids are commercial items, sold to the general public, if they are designed to DoD standards and design drawings. Who would purchase loading skids for aircraft weapons other than the Military? I looked up skids on the Internet and they are pretty specialized Military equipment. One of the primary intentions of acquisition reform was to get away from MILSPECS, MILSTANDARDS, etc., and acquire stuff that is available in the marketplace. I think that was the intent of designating commercial item acquisitions. But, due to the more simplified nature of commercial item acquisitions (i.e., allows shortcuts and allows uneducated buyers to put out commercial item acquisitions), it is being abused, in my opinion. Having read the decision, the agency did some strange things - like buying ammunition loading equipment designed to DoD specs and drawings as commercial items; also, stating that the respondents to the RFQ must show that they are qualified to weld the skid assemblies - but then saying that lack of experience would not be held against them! Looks like they mixed up the ideas of experience and past performance in their evaluation criteria. But I stray from your question. I've read a couple of protests lately that were commercial item or service acquisitions but just don't seem to fit the intent of commercial item acquisitions, as originally intended for the acquisition reform movement. But, hey - the DoD tried to buy C-130-J and C-17 aircraft as commercial items! I guess there are folks out there who will try to buy anything that way in order to simplify their job or for some other reason.

My answer would be that it probably depends upon whether or not the "work" is something that is sold to the public. For example, do the MILSPECS or "military specs" make the "work" unique for the Military? What is the "work"?

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The work is to replace dry-dock basin non-skid.

Mdtpham, the work appears to be construction work to remove and replace (paint?) Non-skid surface in a Navy dry-dock. I'm not sure but think a drydock is a public work - however someone needs to verify that.

Even if it is somehow classified as a service, I doubt that it is a "commercial service" that would be sold on a catalog pricing basis.

The DOL considers painting work to be construction, not a service. See DFARS 22.401. Even though the products might be regular commercial products, it isn't a supply contract if the "work" is to remove and replace the non-skid, not just to supply the materials to the Navy for someone else to remove and install.

Construction work is not usually considered to be a commercial item, especially if the specs are unique Military Specs. But I'm basing my opinion on the scant description you provided plus an assumption that a dry dock is a public work for labor classifications.

Someone familiar with Navy work should probably comment.

Let me ask you though - why would you consider this to be a commerical item as a service or supplies?

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There are more civilian drydocks than military dry docks these days, so I don't neccessarily think that replacing non-skid would be mil-spec. That said, dry dock non-skid probably started as a mil-spec, so some organizations are still hanging on to "we have always done it that way".

I agree with Joel, I would not get wrapped around the axel about non-skid, the real work is basically removing and replacing a form of paint. Would that be considered a commercial service? I tend to think so, as commercial firms have dry docks that need painting. That would apply whether your organization sees this as a service, which I agree with, or a supply, which I do not. But in the end, the regulations of FAR Part 36 would apply as painting, including the removal of paint, has been catagorized as a construction service when applied to a structure such as a dry dock.

Does that preclude treating it as a commercial service? I don't know, but I bet there have been organizations that have and others who decided not to. I lean towards no, as I doubt it will be a simple quote used for determining a price for the work.

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Guest carl r culham

Have you read this GAO decision recently posted on WIFCON here - http://www.wifcon.com/pd12_102.htm ? While it is not specific to your MIL-SPEC question it does get to the point of determinations regarding commercial item versus construction. It may help you in your decision process regarding the MIL-SPEC. As previous posts have indicated the specific determination on your specific matter depends on the facts.

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I am not sure adding MIL-SPECS would make an item a nopn-commercial item, I think it would depend on the MIL-SPECS being quoted. For example, there are MIL-SPECS that define the characteristics of resistors, capacitors, etc and other items that are used in the manufacture of printed circuit boards. They define the heat/cold operating requirements, lead length, etc. hat the components must meet. In many cases, commercial comp[onents meet the MIL SPEC requirements and the MIL SPECS are considered as a sort of quality controll requirement as to the reliavbility and durability of a component.

Consider the ourchase of tires for a personal vehicle. You can by tires with 25K, 40K, 60K and more design trread life and different ratings for speed and breaking. If a MIL SPEC said a tire had to have a 60K tread life, a 90 MPH speed design and a "A" rating for breaking, you could buy a commercial tire that met the requirements.

So, i do not think just having a MIL SPEC would make it a non-commercial item. As a matter of fact, I seem to recal that there used to be a MIL SPEC for the military to purchase fruit cakes. I am not sure the military application of fruit cake except possibly to use stale ones as armor piercing munitions! :-)

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Guest Vern Edwards

MIL-F-3897C (AMENDMENT 5), MILITARY SPECIFICATION, FRUITCAKE BAR (12 JUL 1977). That is the combat-hardened version issued to infantry. See also, A-A-20146, COMMERCIAL ITEM DESCRIPTION, FRUITCAKE, FRESH (5 SEP 1986). That is the rear-echelon and peacetime version distributed to the folks at Camp Cupcake.

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NAVFAC does consider some maintenance and repair services, such as painting, to be candidates for commercial services; even if they are subject to Davis-Bacon. If this particular project is really just for scraping and applying a non-skid coating, even if the coating that had to be used is a mil-spec, I'd tend to agree that it could be classified as a commercial service; provided that the instructions for the application were consistent with commerical practices. To Joel's point about being based on established catalog or market prices, DWGerard's answer is probably better if there are commercial dry-docks in the area, but I would also submit that the Wage Determination could arguably be used as a "market price", since it is from an independent source (DOL) and is established based upon the wages being paid in that area for that type of work.

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Guest Vern Edwards

Try the "old style" fruitcake produced by the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe, P.O. Box 97, Lafayette, Oregon, 97127. Sweetened with honey and soaked in 120 proof brandy. Dark, rich, moist, and delicious. Also hard to get. It sells out every year.

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Try the "old style" fruitcake produced by the Trappist Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe, P.O. Box 97, Lafayette, Oregon, 97127. Sweetened with honey and soaked in 120 proof brandy. Dark, rich, moist, and delicious. Also hard to get. It sells out every year.

That sounds so good right now after dinner with a cup of coffee. Happy Holidays to you Vern and everyone else on wifcon!

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks for the responses, everyone. I have really learned a lot on this forum. My CO asked me to research that question since he was not sure himself, but we ended up not taking the commercial route because he was able to locate another contract that we were able to order off of. Thanks again for a valuable lesson (and the fruitcake tip :P)!

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